Prince Edward Island chief public health officer Dr Heather Morrison announced the new cases during her weekly pandemic briefing on Tuesday morning. Two of the new cases are young people under the age of 19. The third person is in his forties.
The cases bring the total number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 on the island to 159 in the past 13 months. There are 14 active cases.
Morrison said 94 people in Prince Edward Island are currently self-isolating because they have been identified as close contact of a recent case.
While vaccinations using the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine at pharmacies were suspended on Monday, vaccination clinics are still open in the province.
Nursing chief Marion Dowling said a small number of people had called to cancel appointments. She reiterated that the province is not currently giving the AstraZeneca vaccine and urged people to get the vaccine.
“Our clinics only offer the Pfizer or the Moderna, the mRNA vaccines, and they’re very safe and there’s no problem,” Dowling said.
In Prince Edward Island, the AstraZeneca vaccine was offered exclusively to people between the ages of 18 and 29 who worked directly with the public. This was halted on Monday amid national concerns about blood clots forming after vaccinations in some European countries.
Morrison said there are currently no plans to create new opportunities for people in this group to get vaccinated early using any of the other vaccines available here.
She said the remaining 300 doses of AstraZeneca on the island have an expiration date in June and it’s time to assess all the evidence on clotting before it becomes unusable.
Morrison added that another 6,000 doses of AstraZeneca are expected to arrive in Prince Edward Island next week, and that they also have a shelf life of at least two months.
On another note, Morrison used some of his time at the briefing to talk about the upcoming Easter weekend, the most important annual celebration on the Christian calendar.
She took a moment to thank the churches for their cooperation over the past year, acknowledging the struggles they went through when the size of the gatherings was limited.
She also took a moment to reassure the children about the Easter Bunny, noting that this was the second Easter in the pandemic.
“The Easter Bunny is immune to COVID-19 and as such will be able to visit children in Prince Edward Island. The bunny is very organized and has already requested approval before the trip, ”said Morrison.
“The pandemic will not take the Easter Bunny away. ”
With the number of cases rising across the country due to the emergence of variants that appear to be more contagious, Morrison said the pandemic’s recent months will be difficult and urged islanders to remain patient.
“COVID-19 has taken its toll on all Islanders. There have been ups and downs, ”she said.
“While we are on the home stretch of this race, the next few months will not be easy. ”
While islanders will need to be careful, she notes that there are things to look forward to, like the reopening of the Atlantic bubble next month.
The province is still on track to deliver a vaccine to anyone who wants one by the end of June, she said, with a second dose by the fall.
As of Saturday, Morrison said, 21,712 doses of the vaccine had been administered to the islanders. Among these were 6,406 second doses.